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Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer Demonstrates Lower Neck Muscle Strength in Women

Posted on: 11/15/2007
Pain and muscular fatigue of the neck is increasing in incidence in industrial countries, affecting all ages, resulting in an economic cost in sick days, health insurance, and medications used. Much of neck pain is caused by muscular weakness, particularly in women who, although they have the same mass to support, have only about half the neck muscle forces than of men.

The authors of this study sought to determine if the Biodex isokinetic dynamometer was reliable in measuring the isometric strength of the neck, in order to obtain normal values on which to base evaluations.

Healthy men and women (96) and women with chronic neck pain (30) were recruited to participate in this study. The women without neck pain could not have experienced neck pain in the previous year nor engaged in any type of muscle training that involved the neck within the past 6 months. For assessment, the subjects completed the standardized Dutch Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, which evaluated neck pain.

For the testing, the subjects were placed face down on the examination bed and were asked to flex and extend their neck, against a gauge, to evaluate the muscle strength. Upon evaluation, the researchers noted that there was a significant difference in strength between the health male volunteers and the healthy female volunteers. Thus, only the females were compared against the group with neck pain. The researchers found that the strength of the women with neck pain was considerably lower than that of the healthy group.

The authors conclude that it is important to take the sex of the patient into account when determining neck strength in relation to neck disorders.

Barbara Cagnie, PT, PhD, et al. Differences in Isometric Neck Muscle Strength Between Healthy Controls and Women with Chronic Neck Pain: The Use of a Reliable Measurement. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. November 2007. Vol. 88. Pp. 1441-1445.

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